Updated: Apr 20
It’s said that “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.” The riff, a homage to the debauchery and vice which Vegas is known for.
But with sports gambling and weed both now legal in my home state of Connecticut, there seems to be little which justifies the schlep from Stamford, to Nevada's Sin City!
Your Network is Your Net Worth
As a paint dealer I believed that attending trade shows was good for Tremont Paint. A chance to get an “extra five!” and a few months extended terms.
Plus, the opportunity to see new products I might not otherwise get exposed to from my office behind the tint station at Tremont Paint.
But despite those compelling reasons it was mostly the networking opportunities which caused me to make attending national and member-owned trade shows a priority during my career.
The deals I strategized for Tremont Paint requiring access to a wider network of “higher ranking” paint executives. The type who tend to congregate at both national and member-cooperative trade show booths.
The National Hardware Show, NHS, remains the largest show in North America for stakeholders in the home improvement channel. NHS draws its attendees from the ranks of the national retailers, manufacturers, importers, vendors and dealers who share the hardware and paint market segments.
With paint executives even less likely to walk into my home office than they were to walk into my office at Tremont Paint, and looking to keep my networking skills sharp, I attended the National Hardware Show last week. THE 2022 episode of NHS spanning April 5-7 in the Las Vegas Convention Center.
Walking the show floor, it was hard not to notice the absence of the national paint manufacturers who service the independent dealer network; Benjamin Moore, PPG and Pratt & Lambert. All three paint makers passing up the opportunity to been seen at the show.
And while ICP and Rustoleum were both in attendance, neither had the presence, in either booth size or head-count, which I’ve observed in previous years.
Despite the disappointing turnout I am already looking forward to next year’s National Hardware show. With an expanded format which adds the International Builders Show and the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show to the NHS offering, I’m confident that the paint manufactures (and dealers) who could not attend this year due to a supply chain crisis which makes bandwidth a challenge, will find the time to meet me in the sports book or dispensary next year.
And THE Winner Is
Trade shows continue to be the best place to learn about new products and despite the low turnout amount the paint manufacturers, the hardware and sundry suppliers and manufactures were out in full-force, displaying the latest and greatest tools to make painting easier.
Most interesting among this year’s new products was the Hightower Telescoping Bucket System. A bucket/tray combination which sits on top of an extension pole and tripod extending up to nine feet, ensuring that a dip in the bucket doesn’t cost the painter a trip down the ladder or to lose the OSHA suggested three-points of contact.
Cool idea from my former neighbor in THE Bronx, Allway Tools!
(Note: the above is non-compensated commentary and not intended to endorse any product or manufacturer)
On my podcast this week is Ace Dealer Gina Schaefer. Gina and her husband own ten Ace stores in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.
Gina does a great job identifying some of the unique challenges facing urban retailers such as the high cost of rent, small locations and a high cost of living which makes finding local people willing to work a retail job a challenge.
And of course, she shares how her and her husband and business partner have overcome those challenges.
Look for a notification from me in your mailbox on Thursday with a link to my episode with Gina.
It’s a Wrap
This week, I’m spending four-days in the car with my daughter Buck Wheat. So, you can expect next week’s blog to be funnier!